As advocate of Self-Coaching, I promote the DIY possibility to enhance critical thinking and decision making. Coaching is generally seen as a kind of piloted conversation where it’s all about questions. Looking at Self-Coaching in this regard, it seems an awkward practice where we sit in front of the mirror and question ourselves.
This is a bad approach, so it is the interpretation of the technique. Questions are only a tool ease the materialization of thoughts. Great coaching skills come from the ability to listen with care and perceive what is beyond the said. Alas, there are circumstances where we find uncomfortable to go for a coach, or the situation is not so drastic to look for it. Nonetheless, such set of techniques can prove useful in mental processes that involve prioritizing, brainstorming and learning.
A while ago, I have published a “Toolbox” that helps You to become your Self-Coach, whatever is the reason you can’t go for a professional. Anyways, I feel like I did not give enough space to the comparison between the two things. This article elucidates on the amazing advantages of being a Self-Coach, and situations where a professional is rather required.
Self-Coaching Benefit #1 – Develop a healthy habit of confidence
Sometimes is hard to keep cool when we need to take difficult decisions based on imminent or unexpected events. You can be able to break down a seemingly huge problem into small bits. This is something that you can achieve with a meaningful conversation with yourself. There is a reason why coaches use models of dialogue: they are designed with positive psychology and are solution-oriented. Thus, learning the basics and experiment on ourselves is a huge step forward in managing emotional hijacks. This way, we achieve a sort of inner balance before taking any decision. This is a process that becomes more natural with practice. With time, even our immediate emotional responses will be more adequate.
Reason to hire a Coach #1 – Forces you to act upon ideas
One of the major pitfalls of Self-Coaching is the need to make yourself accountable. From many people I heard that until you don’t pay money from your pocket, you can always lay back and never engage in meaningful actions. Therefore, hiring a Coach also mean to literally invest money on your development. Self-Coaching is a great tool if you have a strong will to face challenges and enough motivations to act. (And it’s low-cost, too).
Self-Coaching Benefit #2 – Enhances cognitive skills
The essential purpose of Self-Coaching is to help you think better. For how I see it, that involves: analytical and critical thinking, situational analysis, mindfulness, emotional control, and energy management. It does not mean that you need to have all those in place from the start. This process will help you develop greater cognitive skills and see things differently.
Reason to hire a Coach #2 – Makes you see it from a different angle
Everyone has his own cultural and confirmation bias. Often, we derail from factful judgement because of our tendency to make assumptions. If not challenged, that can make us blind from reality. A coach that guides you in a conversation is beneficial to shift to other perspectives. This will force you to think aloud and have an epiphany. The external eye of the Coach can make you realize “how great/stupid that (idea we just said) sounds” and deprive you of the influence of your Ego for a moment. That is especially good if you are not used yet to acknowledge the role of bias in your thinking.
Self-Coaching Benefit #3 – Shifting to a different learning experience
Finally, Self-Coaching is a great tool to track your progresses when you are learning something (like a new language). It is quite different from a random self-assessment. In the first place, you can start planning your desired learning by establishing a set of criteria and defining your goals. Later, you can use the same tool to check your progression, setbacks and areas of improvements. It is a good diagnostic instrument to keep up your commitment and skills level along the way.
Reason to hire a Coach #3 – Performance Health Check
Let’s say you already have a developmental coach. Or, you are lucky to have a “critical friend” that shares feedback for free. It can happen that either one factualizes your assessment bold and squared. At first, you can feel resentment. However, it’s also true that you can feel quite energetic leveling up, that you may end up prioritizing in speed over accuracy. Doing that, you may think you have learned a lot, when you actually have got a little along the way. I call it “Health Check” because getting a feedback from others along the way is sometimes what we need to overcome our biased selves.
Is Self-Coaching for Pro? (Try to guess…)
Absolutely not! You do not need to be a coach to be able to use it. I guess that the reason why coaches exists is not because we fail to change perspective, but we just don’t even give it a try. Saying that, all I recommend is to start with Self-Coaching and try it for a while. You will see results on the way: feeling more confident, hopefully less anxious, and much more productive than when you started.
Remember that also coaches need to be coached: I need it quite often myself. You can also look for peer-coaching opportunities. This opportunity is offered by many companies, schools and industries for free.
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This step-by-step PDF is an accelerate journey to discover the benefits of self-talk through
- elements of mindfulness and meditation
- famous, effective tools for critical thinking
- some cognitive hacks to stay committed